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The Statesman

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    Superbad is Supergood

    Judd Apatow. Learn the name. Movie critics are notoriously harsh when it comes to films featuring slapstick humor, horny boys, and crude language, but they all seem to reserve a special place in their hearts for Apatow productions. And for good reason.

    A string of critically acclaimed but sparsely viewed television shows (Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared) were just the set up for a career that has launched Apatow and his crew of misfits into the stratosphere of American comedy.

    Superbad is of course no exception. The raunchy, dirty, teenage-angst laugh-fest raked in millions in the box office this past summer, and has become a cult classic the likes of which have not been seen since Napoleon Dynamite.

    The movie focuses on the lives of high school seniors Evan (Michael Cera) and Seth (Jonah Hill). They have been best buds for most of their lives and are on the verge of leaving for different colleges. The movie picks up on the day of one of the biggest parties of the year, and the two young men set out on a quest to find?what else? Booze.

    Trusty sidekick Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has just come across a fake ID, and the three of them set out to the local liquor store and test it out. Oh, and the name on the fake ID happens to be McLovin. That’s it. Just McLovin. If that doesn’t make you chuckle?

    The events that follow send all three boys down dangerous roads. Evan and Seth wind up at a party they were neither invited to nor wanted to go to, all in search of the beer they promised to deliver to the party of their own. Fogell winds up painting the town red with two cops who are so fantastically out of touch with reality that their reckless actions (shooting a stop sign, drinking on the job) attract the attention of?other cops.

    The sequence of events cause Evan and Seth to examine their relationship as best friends, giving the movie something that one might not expect: a touching story. We all have a relationship with a certified best friend, and the struggles that Evan and Seth face are all surprisingly relatable.

    Perhaps the reason this movie succeeds where so many others have failed is because Apatow and director Greg Mottola have no reservations when it comes to depicting the lives of teenagers in America. They are not afraid of an R-rating; instead, they embrace it with outstretched arms. Cursing pours from every open mouth and discussions all eventually end on what girl to get with and how.

    The actors largely consist of Apatow constants. Seth Rogan, who has worked with Apatow in previous films like Knocked Up has a smaller role as a childish police officer and Jonah Hill had a role in Knocked Up too, as well as The 40-Year Old Virgin. Michael Cera is best known for his portrayal of George Michael Bluth in Arrested Development.

    Cera in particular gives a great, and convincing, performance. His job on Arrested Development gave him tons of practice playing a wonderfully awkward teen, and his exchanges with females are laughably tense.

    This movie, as with all other comedies, will not be in contention come award season. It will not set box-office records; it will not be an international hit. But it will be remembered for its alarmingly familiar depiction of life as a teenage boy in Anywhere, USA. And as for McLovin? I’m guessing we will all be seeing a lot of him in the coming years.

    Superbad released on DVD on Tuesday. I recommend forking over the extra money for the special two-disc unrated extended edition. Worth every penny.

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